DU canteens have been found to be running without valid licenses and are flouting safety norms.
An RTI query has revealed that most of the canteens in University of Delhi run without a valid license from the regulating authority, food safety and standard authority of India (FSSAI)
The RTI in question was filed by a law faculty student, Mohit Kumar Gupta. The reply from the assistant registrar (estate) stated that DU has not made any rules and regulations for the food safety and precaution. Also, other contents regarding food safety and precaution are mentioned in the cafeteria services tender inviting notice.
In October 2016, the UGC had made it mandatory for all messes and canteen operating in varsities and universities to get a license from FSSAI, in accordance with the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
The FSSAI guidelines state that all canteens and workers should have adequate cleaning, disinfecting facility for equipment and utensils, proper facilities for washing of raw material and utensils, workers should be provided with clean aprons, head wear, hand gloves and foot wear.
“Any statutory authority or DU has never issued any guidelines/rules which prescribe bearing of FSSAI license as mandatory condition for grant of contract for food operating canteen.”, says Mr Gupta, administrative officer, SRCC. Moreover, food is cooked in domestic LPG cylinders instead of the standard blue cylinders supposed to be used for commercial purposes.
The canteens still go through the routine checks and inspections by a regulating university body. “We have to check our papers to see if the canteens fall under the UGC guidelines as they were established a long time back”, said the general sectary of DU canteens.
Source: The Asian Age and the New Indian Express.